Meet Reviewer Joan Lee

About Me Favorite Romance Novels

I grew up in a sleepy suburb in California. I was a steady reader since I was young, going to the library every Tuesday. Over time I racked up large overdue fines because I would hold onto a good book for a little bit too long (yes, I have now paid them all off). I was addicted to fantasy stories, Greek mythology, folk tales, fairy tales and any story involving horses.

When I was in my early teens, I picked up a Regency romance novel, and then another, and then another. I eventually expanded into lengthier European historical romance novels, and this is still my favorite genre.

I graduated from UC Berkeley with a double major in English and Mass Communications. I moved to New York to explore more opportunities, and I am now working at an academic publishing company (most tragically for this humanities major, it’s all science). I still manage to make plenty of time for reading romance novels, and I’d like to become even more involved with fiction in the future.

Absolute Favorites

Then Came You by Lisa Kleypas
My Pleasure by Connie Brockway
Highland Fire by Elizabeth Thornton

Favorite Classic

Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Favorite Romance Series

Company of Rogues by Jo Beverley
Ghostwalkers by Christine Feehan

Personal Reading Tastes Favorites by Sub-Genre

What I’m a sucker for in a book: Romances where the hero is attracted to (or in love with) the heroine first, romances that began with childhood friendships, a well-told amnesia plot (emphasis on well-told), romances where an arrogant hero is eventually humbled (not humiliated), an original use of secret identities/mysteries/secrets, and arranged marriages.

What I don’t particularly care for in a book: villains who are not scary or have weak motivations, secret children, romances between heroes in their thirties with heroines who are in their teens, anachronistic speech, stories without tension or suspense, love scenes that happen too early in the relationship.

What drives me absolutely nuts in a book: Stupid/silly/ditzy/immature heroines, adultery, heroines stupidly placing themselves into danger so the hero has to rescue them, cliched amnesia plots, mistresses who stick around for far too long.

Favorite Romance Authors

All-Time Favorite Romance Authors

Connie Brockway
Lisa Kleypas
Teresa Medeiros
Elizabeth Thornton

Best Discovery/Buried Treasure Authors

Elizabeth Thornton

My Biggest Glom

Elizabeth Thornton
Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Linda Howard
Teresa Medeiros


Uncommon Vows by Mary Jo Putney
The Protector by Madeline Hunter

European Historical:

Virtue by Jane Feather
My Pleasure by Connie Brockway
Highland Fire, Almost a Princess, and Whisper His Name by Elizabeth Thornton
Then Came You by Lisa Kleypas

Frontier or American Historical:

Nobody’s Darling by Teresa Medeiros
Winter Fire by Elizabeth Lowell


She Went All the Way by Meg Cabot
The Trouble with Valentine’s Day by Rachel Gibson
After the Night by Linda Howard

Traditional Regency:

Miss Treadwell’s Talent by Barbara Metzger
Irresistible and Daring Masquerade by Mary Balogh

Alternate Reality:

Wild Rain and Mind Game by Christine Feehan

Favorite Characters Favorites by Plot Type

Favorite Hero

Case Devere, Almost a Princess by Elizabeth Thornton
Ramsey Munro, My Pleasure by Connie Brockway
Nicolas Trevane, Mind Game by Christine Feehan
David de Abyndon, By Arrangement by Madeline Hunter

Favorite Heroine

Lilly Lawson, Then Came You by Lisa Kleypas
Caitlin, Highland Fire by Elizabeth Thornton
Emma Hotchkiss, Untie My Heart by Judith Ivory

Most Tortured Hero

Samuel Gerard, The Shadow and the Star by Laura Kinsale
Gabriel Fairchild, Yours Until Dawn by Teresa Medeiros

Strongest Heroine

Lilly Lawson, Then Came You by Lisa Kleypas
Judith Davenport, Vixen by Jane Feather
Nesta, Stealing Heaven by Madeline Hunter
Anna de Leon, The Protector by Madeline Hunter

Favorite Couple

Lord Alex Raiford and Lilly Lawson, Then Came You by Lisa Kleypas
Samantha Wickersham and Gabriel Fairchild, Yours Until Dawn by Teresa Medeiros
Megan Penworthy and Ambrose St. James, Man of My Dreams, by Johanna Lindsey

Cabin or Road:

Lord Perfect by Loretta Chase
Nobody’s Baby but Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips


Midnight Rainbow and Dream Man by Linda Howard


She Went All the Way by Meg Cabot
To Die For by Linda Howard


That Scandalous Evening by Christina Dodd
Books by Linda Howard
All Through the Night by Connie Brockway
The Devil to Pay by Liz Carlyle

Favorites by Mood

Comfort Reads:

Man of My Dreams by Johanna Lindsey
Anything by Lisa Kleypas

Most-Hanky Reads:

Dream a Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Then Came You by Lisa Kleypas

Guilty Pleasure:

Prisoner of My Desire by Johanna Lindsey


Most Disappointing Books

Ain’t She Sweet? by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Kiss Me While I Sleep by Linda Howard

Worst Books

The Prize by Brenda Joyce
Evening Star by Catherine Coulter
Anything by Nan Ryan

Most Annoying Lead Character

Heroes/Heroines of Judith McNaught novels

Authors I Have Given Up On

Christina Dodd
Johanna Lindsey
Stephanie Laurens
Nora Roberts

Authors Others Love That I Don’t

Suzanne Brockmann

Non-Romance Favorites

Favorite Author

Amy Tan
Toni Morrison

Favorite Book

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman

Favorite Classic Novel

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Favorite Fantasy

Anything by Robin McKinley (Beauty, The Hero and the Crown)

Favorite YA Book

The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper
The Black Stallion series by Walter Farley
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

Book Most Often Reread

Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan